Over the past week I've been to a few events at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, which have been really interesting. Being a bit cynical, you could say that the authors are only there to plug their latest book, also you have to be prepared to be a bit disappointed with some of the talks. We once went to see Sir Ranulph Fiennes expecting him to recollect some of his adventures around the globe - but no! - instead he happily discussed fitness regimes for the over fifities accompanied by slides of him doing his exercises.
However, this year I've been lucky to see the historian Juliet Gardiner, the last surviving Mitford sister - the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, and Cath Kidston.
The Dowager Duchess gave an insightful talk about her life and is an excellent raconteur; she's got a dry sense of humour which appeals to me. I had hoped to get her to sign my book after the talk, but the queue wound its way outside of the signing tent and I was running short of time so didn't bother. I wasn't too disappointed, as she signed one of her other books for me when she last came to the Festival a couple of years ago.
Cath Kidston was there to promote her new book ‘Stitch!’, which is about cross stitch and tapestry designs. She gave a really inspiring talk about how she came to set up her business, her influences and how she sees her brand evolving. Afterwards, she signed my copy and I asked her if there are any plans afoot to do a Cath Kidston knitting book. She said that a lot of the girls in her office are really keen on knitting, but she’s never learnt herself. She seemed really interested and asked what I was currently knitting; so I’m hoping that perhaps a seed has been sown and her next book will be one for us knitters!